TEACUP PUPPIES AND HEART WORM RISK
Heartworm is a
highly preventable disease that can occur in your Teacup Puppy.
Once contracted it is difficult and expensive to treat.
The cause of heartworm is the mosquito. If there are mosquito's
around, even if you live in a desert region, there is a chance
that your pets will get heartworm. The
transmission of Heartworm to your Teacup Puppy is through the
bite of a mosquito. When a mosquito is taking a blood meal from
an infected dog, it will picks up the microfilaria (baby
heartworm.) Within the mosquito, the microfilaria will then go
through their life-cycle to the infective stage. After this they
can infect other animals.
Adult heartworm are found primarily in the right ventricle and
adjacent vessels of a Teacup puppy's heart. Here they produce
larvae called microfilaria, a microscopic creature that
circulates through the dog's blood vessels until they are once
again picked up by a feeding mosquito.
Once in the mosquito, the microfilaria will develop into their
second and third stages taking any where from within 14 to 21
days. The third stage is the larvae that is then re-deposited in
the dog during a mosquito bite (feeding).
The larvae then migrates to the fat or muscle cells in the
subcutaneous tissues. There they mold again to the fourth and
fifth larval stages. In three months they begin to migrate to
the right ventricle of the puppy's heart where they finish
maturing. Female heartworm then begin to produce a new
population of microfilaria about six to seven months after the
A Teacup Puppy or regular size puppy may have heartworm disease
for six months and an owner will not know he has it as the
symptoms may be very subtle. Since the disease affects the
heart, lungs, kidney or liver, your Teacup puppy may have low
tolerance for exercise, loss of appetite, listlessness,
persistent coughing and difficulty breathing even while resting.
Once symptoms are present, the disease has advanced to the point
where successful treatment is reduced and death is possible.
Consult your veterinarian if you suspect your puppy to be
Treatment: It is recommend dogs be tested annually for
heartworm. There are two types of heartworm medicine available
for dogs, the daily dosage and the monthly dosage. Daily
preventatives have an active ingredient of Diethycarbamazine
(DEC) and come in chewable, pills and liquids. Treatment should
be started one month prior to mosquito season and given daily to
two months after the last exposure to mosquitoes. Monthly
heartworm preventives are Ivermectin (Heartgard) and Milbemycin